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extra » derek maul

Traditionally, religion has ascribed the moniker “miracle” to anything not readily explainable in human terms.

» Meta-worldy:

God created this world, and God labeled the work “good.” This world was designed as the place where relationship between the created and the Creator would take place. Experiencing God, then, is a crucial element of that it means to live in the natural world. God is not otherworldly, God is “metaworldly”....

My new word T

here is a lot that I love about the community of faith where I worship. One of the most outstanding characteristics is the caring, permissiongiving atmosphere, where intellectual honestly is valued and discussion is never closed off by the fear that our faith may not be robust enough or big enough to handle tough questions.

Consequently conversation in small groups, Bible-studies, and Sundayschool classes often leaves me mulling important ideas over - in my mind and heart - for days. Recently, for example, we discussed chapter ten from my book, “The Unmaking of a Part-Time Christian”. The chapter in question was, “A Collision of Worlds.”

What I mean is that we do the work of creation a disservice when we relegate God to the status of outsider. And we do disservice to the intention of God’s creative work when we conduct our lives in a manner that excludes the divine. A life lived in communion with God is – therefore - the most natural thing in the world; especially when we consider that we are created both in the image of God and for relationship with God.

“META-NATURAL” Written By: derek maul

We talked at length about experiences that have served to blur the distinct lines we like to draw between concepts such as time and eternity, natural and supernatural, spiritual and mundane, heaven and earth, the natural and the miraculous...

That is not even close to being a satisfactory way of thinking, because the fundamental assumption is exclusionary to the point of being preemptive.

It was this last couplet that commanded most of our attention. Traditionally, religion has ascribed the moniker “miracle” to anything not readily explainable in human terms. It’s a definition that is necessarily fluid; things drop off the miracle list the moment they can be categorized scientifically. The problem with this way of thinking is the understandable - logical conclusion that all we have to do is look long enough and hard enough and we can explain away God with regard to absolutely everything.

Instead, we talked about the miraculous way in which God works in and through God’s people to make possible things that have been always been intended for this amazing and wonderful world, from the dawn of creation. Rather than supernatural, then, what we call miracles are more accurately metanatural.

» An alternative view:

By “metanatural” – and I believe I have invented a new word - I mean more comprehensive; beyond what we can easily see as natural; transcending natural; at a higher state of development....

“What we’re talking about here is a kind of dissonance. It’s the conflict between realities. We live in this temporal world, yet we are eternal in our nature. We inhabit bodies that are fragile and seriously flawed, yet we are also children of the Great King, and we are invited to live kingdom lives of victory and great purpose… In the book of Ecclesiastes, The Teacher put it this way: ‘God has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end’ (Ecclesiastes 3: 11). Eternity in a sense is the here and now; at least that’s where time without end begins. The pilgrim must learn to tell time in both realities. God’s time is at once both beautiful and challenging. But it is not a distinction designed to grate; rather, it is a perspective to be honed.” – The Unmaking of a Part-time Christian, p. 115 Good fodder for thought. Grace and peace, always - DEREK

foCUS Magazine Plant City november 2010

101

FOCUS Plant City 09-11  

FOCUS Magazine Plant City Edition Issue 09-11

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